Mon – Fri | 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT

Carpet Cleaner

How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business

Next Insurance Staff image
By Next Insurance Staff
Jan 31, 2020 min read

Curious about how to start a carpet cleaning business?

Starting a carpet cleaning business could be the ideal way to pursue your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur while offering services that are in high demand. 

You'll be able to control every detail of your business as the owner. The financial rewards of operating a successful business make the work that it takes to get up and running well worth your effort. Pursuing a carpet cleaning business opportunity requires some specific knowledge, however. 

Is Carpet Cleaning Profitable?

Depending on how you run your carpet cleaning business, it has the potential to be a highly lucrative type of business. 

In most towns, there's a great need for both residential and commercial carpet cleaning businesses. Startup costs may be expensive, but carpet cleaners who run their businesses well can make $75 to $150 per hour  with little ongoing overhead. This is a potentially recession-proof business, especially if you land a few retail clients who must keep their carpets fresh and clean at all times. 

You need to invest in professional carpet cleaning equipment before you can get started. Start small with a few local clients so you can perfect your pricing structure. This gives you the chance to make sure your rates are fair and ensure that you'll make a profit. 

The good news is that setting up a carpet cleaning business doesn't require you to hire (and pay) employees. Other than your initial investment in equipment, ongoing costs are fairly low for most start-up carpet cleaning businesses. you can start a carpet cleaning business from home, which eliminates the need to pay rent for a business location. 

Common Questions About How to Set Up a Carpet Cleaning Business

What do I need to know before I start setting up a carpet cleaning business?

Like any other small business, your carpet cleaning business may need specific licenses to operate in your town or city. Check with your local small business association to learn more about license and certification requirements. You may also need carpet cleaning business insurance to stay in compliance with local ordinances. 

What should I know about taxes and setting up the business?

The key to staying in compliance with the IRS is keeping great records. 

Hang on to receipts, of course. While many small business owners rely on tax software to help them stay on track, it's safer and easier to hire a local accountant that specializes in small business taxes. They can help you understand how to structure your business and maximize your deductions to minimize your tax burden. 

You can choose to operate your business as a sole proprietor or start a limited liability corporation (LLC). There are many factors that go into making this choice, and this is an area where you'll want solid legal advice. A lawyer can help you complete the appropriate paperwork to set up an LLC if you choose to do so. 

What kind of carpet cleaning equipment do I need?

One of the most important decisions you'll make about your carpet cleaning business is whether you'll offer hot water and steam cleaning, dry foam cleaning, or dry chemical cleaning. Dry foam is widely considered the least effective cleaning method of the three. Most carpet cleaning businesses offer dry chemical or hot water and steam extraction. 

With the dry chemical method, you'll invest in dry cleaning compound and a special two-head powerful vacuum that agitates the compound to help trap dirt. With this method, the carpet requires zero drying time, which makes it an easy sell, especially for commercial carpet cleaning. 

The hot water extraction carpet cleaning method requires either a truck-mounted or portable hot water extraction unit. The truck-mounted cleaner provides more power, making it far superior to the smaller units that people can rent at the local hardware store. A portable unit must be emptied regularly, which can be awkward when you are working in a home. The most powerful portable units require separate machines for solution application and vacuuming. 

No matter which method you choose, it's a good idea to search for used equipment. You'll save money and you may develop a preference for one type of cleaning based on personal experience. 

Can I start a carpet cleaning business from home?

Many successful entrepreneurs run their carpet cleaning businesses from home. Make sure you have a place to legally and safely park your truck. You may need to make room in your home for extra cleaning supplies and an office, as well. 

What's the difference between a commercial carpet cleaning business and a residential carpet cleaning business?

Commercial carpet cleaning businesses typically have more expensive and more powerful equipment. They clean more square feet of carpet. However, they also have the opportunity to book recurring appointments with businesses that need regular carpet cleaning. This could help build a carpet cleaning business quickly with only a few accounts. 

Residential carpet cleaning businesses may need to serve a higher number of clients to make a great living, but the startup costs may be lower in the beginning. 

Are there any other good resources on how to start your own carpet cleaning business?

Start with the Small Business Association's Create Your Business Plan website. This free resource helps you write a comprehensive business plan by walking you through step-by-step. The Small Business Association has a center dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in each state. 

Check out the SCORE Business Plan page, as well. This free resource has free workshops and podcasts to help you get started with your carpet cleaning business. SCORE can also help with your marketing plan. It's important to have a business plan and marketing plan in place when you start a carpet cleaning business. They serve as your map and will help keep you on-track to reach your goals. A business plan will also help prepare to overcome some of the more common small business challenges

Do you still have questions about how to start your own carpet cleaning business?

To make the most of a carpet cleaning business opportunity in your home town talk to local business owners as well as your friends and neighbors to understand their needs. For example, maybe there's demand for an organic carpet cleaning service that the other carpet cleaners in the area don't currently offer. 

Be sure to make connections in your local community with other business owners. It's easy to do the bulk of your research online, but there's a lot to learn about the licenses and permits you'll need to run a business in your town. 

Carpet Cleaning Business Insurance

Now that you have a better idea of how to start a carpet cleaning company, it's time to learn more about getting the right kind of business insurance. Your clients may require proof of insurance, so it's crucial to choose a company that can provide a Certificate of Insurance online and on-the-spot. With Next Insurance, the owner of a carpet cleaning business can even quickly add a client as an Additional insured without fees. 

With a simple monthly payment plan option and three levels of customized coverage, your carpet cleaning business will be protected from property damage, professional errors, bodily injury, and more. 

Next Insurance Staff image
By Next Insurance Staff
Check Prices
Check Prices